ICICI bank announces robotic advisory on 20th anniversary of digital banking journey

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2018 23:45 hrs
Customers use ATM machines at an ICICI Bank branch in Mumbai

Mumbai: ICICI Bank on Thursday announced the launch of an automated and robotic assisted investment advisory tool for its customers. Named MoneyCoach, the service was launched on the day the bank completed 20 years of its digital banking journey.

"The software robotics is based on automated personal finance and investment advisory platform, it will help customers plan their future investments in a seamless manner. It will manage the entire investment journey of a customer from building an investible corpus to investing in recommended portfolios and tracking it 24x7. The service is offered free of cost and enables goal based investment advisory," said the bank in a note.

The bank further explained that its digital banking journey had commenced with the start of internet banking two decades ago. It was among the pioneers in introducing internet banking in 1998. The bank repeated its tech-focus by introducing mobile banking application- iMobile in 2008. To focus on digital and app-savvy customers, the bank launched a digital wallet in 2015. As part of it's focus to offer unparalleled experience, the bank offered voice-based solutions on the Siri platform. The bank's customer can initiate fund transfers by simply saying "Transfer Rs. 5,000 to mother".

Keeping in line with it's tech-led enablement, the bank has unveiled an array of design-thinking led futuristic and industry-first services in iMobile to bring in the next-level of customer experience.

These include the "country’s first and only software robotics algorithm led investment advisory application on mobile- Money Coach."

MoneyCoach manages the entire investment journey of a customer from building an investible corpus to investing in recommended portfolios and tracking it 24x7. "It also brings in a paperless KYC and online registration process for mutual funds in a single click, which is a first among banks. This facility brings in a new level of convenience and experience to customers as it replaces a lengthy and paper-intensive process of registering their KYC for mutual funds," said the bank in a note.

B. Madhivanan, the bank's Group Executive and Chief Technology & Digital Officer, explained, “We are proud to share that our journey of pioneering digital channels has completed the milestone of 20 years, a first in the industry."

"As we look back, in the last two decades, we have focused on leveraging new trends in digital technology, mobile communications and social media. We saw India’s demographic dividend and the rapid strides in mobile technology years back and anticipated the disruption that mobiles would bring in to the society as a whole and also banking in particular. We predicted that we will witness shift in consumer preference towards doing everything ‘on-the-go’. This vision and belief actually led us to launch both, the country’s first internet banking in 1998 as well as the mobile banking application ‘iMobile’ in 2008 and bring in many innovations in it."

Elaborating on the bank's multiple initiatives, Madhivanan also explained over a conference call that the bank's tech-led focus has been across various practices- Retail banking and merchant banking too. Explaining its focus on the merchant side, Madhivanan was optimistic on utilisation of NPCI's (National Payments Corporation of India) various platforms. He was confident in particular about NPCI's UPI 2.0.

"The Bank has witnessed significant growth in mobile banking on the back of its customers shifting to mobiles for undertaking transactions like fund transfers, payments using UPI as well as merchant and bill payments," the bank's note added.

Besides various alternate channels and payment mechanisms, the bank has also been confident of utilising next-gen technology tools such as blockchain and chatbots. The bank was among early adopters of chatbot led services on its website. This service was started in 2017.

"In addition to offering instant responses to queries, the iPal engine on iMobile undertakes financial transactions as well – an industry first feature. Overall, iPal now handles 1.4 million queries a month with an answer rate of 90%," said the bank.

The bank is gearing to adopt some of the latest buzzwords such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to offer customers a unique experience.